What is Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan?
‘…more than 300 works for the first major display of Japanese Outsider Art in the UK. The 46 artists represented in the show are residents and day attendees at social welfare institutions across Japan. The wonderfully diverse collection comprises ceramics, textiles, paintings, sculpture and drawings.
‘Souzou’ has no direct translation in English but a dual meaning in Japanese: written one way, it means creation, and in another it means imagination. Both meanings allude to a force by which new ideas are born and take shape in the world.’ – Wellcome Collection
This is the 2013 spring exhibition for the Wellcome Collection, it features over three hundred pieces of outsider art from Japan.
The exhibition is split into six parts (language, making, representation, relationships, culture and possibility) and explores and questions our perception of Outsider Art in an attempt to guide us in understanding the diversity of Outsider Art.
The space was well laid out and different sections were clearly labeled. There was a change in the coloured clips used to display information when the section changed and I thought that the little details like that were nice.
On entering the exhibition you are greeted by an information board which puts the exhibition in context, immediately following is the language section which I am not to sure about as it wasn’t the most engaging of sections to start off with. After that the exhibition improves towards the middle/end as the middle section has the most interesting and engaging content.
I have worked on a similar exhibition before so I had some understanding of Outsider Art however art is still something I struggle to understand so the information that was provided to me helped me a great deal as the artefacts exhibited were not always technically amazing. Further information and an extended introduction is given in the free leaflet and makes a reflective light read on this exhibition.